More light and fun reading for the beach. This display keeps getting bigger and better. So stop by for some entertainment at the beach, pool or just in your back yard. “Beach Reads” includes lots of popular titles that you might have missed.
Our second book display on the first floor is “Incredible True Stories”. What a fascinating collection. It has biographies of inventors and inventions, such Steve Jobs, the Wright Brothers and the story of photography; tales of war heroes from George Washington, The Fly Boys, Heroes of 9/11 to Heroes Among Us; survival stories including The Envoy and The Perfect Storm; athletic feats in books such as The Perfect Mile, Triumph (Jesse Owens) and Friday Night Lights. The collection also includes books on the topics of religion, psychology and history.
The mini display is on “Elie Wiesel”, another incredible story of survival and human triumph. On the other side we have a nice selection of “Audiobooks” which make great travel companions for car trips.
Our third floor health display is “Have a Healthy and Safe Summer”which features a varied collection related to staying happy and healthy during the summer. Handouts are there for you on sun safety for infants, teaching children summer safety, weather safety, tips for safe gas grilling and more.
“To the Moon and Beyond”is the second display on the third floor. It covers the history of space exploration from unmanned flights, manned flights, landing on the moon, research on Mars, space shuttles and the Hubbell Space telescope. What a great ride!
I recently asked my coworkers to tell me about some of their favorite audiobook experiences. Here’s what I heard about audiobooks:
“A favorite book on CD was Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. It is a children’s book that revolves around a harmonica that makes its way into different hands as three intertwined stories come together. The best part of this audiobook was how it incorporated the harmonica music into the story!”
-Pam S., Reference Librarian
“I love audio books, but the three that stand out to me at the moment are:
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer, & Coolidge by Amity Shales.
Unbroken is just such an amazing story, and the fact that Louie Zamperini found a way to forgive his Japanese captors is beyond amazing to me. I came to listen to this because I always knew a little bit about his story, but I wanted to learn more.
The Tenth Justice is an exciting story that kept me involved throughout the entire audio book. It’s a great, quick fiction that is great to listen to during a run (which is when I most often listen to audio books). I came to listen to this audio book after learning watching his show TV “Decoded.”
Coolidge is a very in-depth book about our 30th President. Calvin Coolidge has always interested me so I decided to listen to this while training for a marathon, and it did not disappoint.”
-Jason, Systems Librarian
“For me its a toss-up between A Man Called Oveby Fredrik Backman and The Invention of Wingsby Sue Monk Kidd. I loved a A Man Called Ove for its charm and feel good message about the importance of being a good person. The narrator has a great delivery too. The Invention of Wings was a wonderful historical fiction novel about the friendship between a wealthy Southern girl and a young slave. Having two different narrators for the characters of Handful and Sarah really add to the story and make the characters come alive.”
-Lisa J., Readers’ Services Librarian
“Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese – The story grabbed me from the beginning… and the narrator’s voice was wonderful to listen to.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Another dimension was added to the book because of the dramatic readings of the actresses narrating it. I don’t think I would have noticed it had I just been reading it.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.- I enjoyed listening to it because it was an emotional and intense read. I felt more connected to the characters listening to them.
World War Z by Max Brooks – There are multiple narrators, most of them well known actors (Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Jerry Ryan, Mark Hamill to name a few). It’s interesting because so many people are involved in this audiobook – which is a narrative about the war against zombies.”
-Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian
“I don’t get to listen to audiobooks very frequently, but I loved A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Hailey Forsythe. Since it is written in letter format, it is perfect as an audiobook. I enjoyed it so much since it follows her life from childhood to the end. It spans so much history (from the early 1900’s to the 1960’s) and her development from an innocent girl to a courageous, confident woman.”
-Sue Ann, Head of Children’s Services
“Here are 2 audiobooks:
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: This audiobook was beautifully narrated by Adjoa Andoh. Her voice easily captured the language and culture of the main character’s home country, Nigeria, giving the listener an immersive experience.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris: This author/narrator is a humorist and comedian so I thought it would be better to listen to the book rather than read it. I was right, with many laugh-out-loud scenes it made driving more enjoyable.”
-Rosemarie B, Children’s Services Librarian
“For me it’s two mystery series, both by the same author: M. C. Beaton‘s Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series. I started by listening to the first of each a few years ago and I’m still at it. I have read some of them in print but I enjoy them very much more in audio. I like listening to British accents and these have had every kind you could imagine. Plus they are often laugh out loud funny. I’m also enjoying listening to Robert Galbraith‘s (J. K. Rowling’s pseudonym) Cormoran Strike mystery series. The reader, Robert Glenister, makes all the characters distinctive and Rowling is proving she’s no fluke.”
-Sonia, Reference, Librarian
What are some of your favorite audiobooks? Please tell us in the comments.
Many book clubs explore various titles and different venues to add interest and excitement to the overall book discussion experience. Some groups have included book to film excursions, or theme-related activities. Another idea that may interest book clubs is to try an audiobook for their next discussion. An audiobook can provide a unique involvement for the listener. Personally, audiobooks such as The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Other Story by Tatiana De Rosnay, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, and The Son by Jo Nesbo have remained with me for close to a year now. I believe that if I had read these books, the characters may not have resonated in the same way.
The 20th Annual Audie Awards Gala is scheduled for May 28th in New York City. This award competition recognizes excellence in audiobook and spoken word entertainment. For the complete list of this year’s finalists, go to http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/audies/. One thing to consider is that it may be more convenient for members to choose a winner from a previous year since the audiobooks may be more accessible. If you are interested in locating previous audiobook winners, you can go to http://www.audiopub.org/audies-gala.asp. Here are some suggested audiobook titles:
& NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR One of America’s favorite comedians looks back at his extraordinary career, highlighting the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, and outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old.
2013 WINNER: SOLO NARRATION – MALE A novel that spans fifty years with the Italian housekeeper and his long-lost American starlet, the producer who once brought them together, and his assistant. A glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.
2012 WINNER: LITERARY FICTION A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh journeys into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years–a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.
– posted by Jean S., Readers’ Services
This article appeared in the May 2015 issue of Syosset Public Library’s newsletter, The Book Club Insider.
Welcome Readers’ Services Librarian, Jackie Ranaldo, who is back to answer 5 more of our questions about books (her first 5 are here).
What book are you currently reading?
As always, I am currently reading more than one book. I am almost done listening to “The Whisperers“, a Charlie Parker mystery, by John Connolly. I couldn’t really get into the book while reading it, but then I started listening to it and the reader’s voice really brought the book to life for me. It’s a mystery with a supernatural twist. I am enjoying it, but not loving it. The storyline is a little confusing to me.
I am also re-reading “Lolita“ by Vladimir Nabokov. I read it years ago and my other book club recently chose it as our next book. I started re-reading it last night and had to put it down. I think reading it once in a lifetime was enough, but unfortunately, I don’t remember enough to be of any use to my fellow book club members.
And finally, because it’s summer, I need a lighter book to turn to for beach reading. I just picked up “Lost and Found“ by Carolyn Parkhurst. I’m not far enough into the story to really give an opinion on it, but so far I’m enjoying it. However, it makes me want to take an adventure to an exotic location, and alas, in the real world I cannot.
What is the last book you’ve read?
The last book I read was “Remind Me Again Why I Married You“ by Rita Ciresi. I loved it! I found myself giggling constantly. Ciresi managed to give such an informative, yet humorous view of marriage through her characters. She was able to represent the daily struggles of a stay-at-home mom longing for “something else” and a devoted dad who sometimes “forgets” many of his “manly chores” without getting too sappy and unrealistic.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I cannot honestly pick an absolute favorite book of all time. I’ve loved so many but to call any of them “my favorite” would be a bit much. There are still too many books out there to pick a favorite. I may not have come across it yet. However, the two books I believe I’ve loved the most are “To Kill a Mockingbird“ by Harper Lee and “The Grapes of Wrath“ by John Steinbeck. There’s no way I could choose between the two. “The Good Earth“ by Pearl S. Buck would also be another huge contender.
Is there a book you’ve faked reading?
I can honestly say I read every book assigned to me in High School (in complete and utter fear of getting in trouble). However, once I became an English Literature Major in college, things changed. I was assigned several books weekly and, unfortunately, some got thrown aside if I really couldn’t stand them. In my own defense, I did read the large majority of my assigned reading, but at least two stick out in my memory as getting the “Cliffs Notes” treatment: “Moby Dick“ by Herman Melville and “Clarissa“ by Samuel Richardson. I disliked both books greatly and just couldn’t get through them! But, I did read a lot of Clarissa. I just skipped a few chapters here and there and supplemented with the Cliffs Notes. I know that makes me a bad English Major, but come on, it’s 1533 pages of pure torture (for me at least)!
Is there a book you recommend a lot?
I am constantly recommending Lee Child’s“61 Hours“. It is the perfect suspense/mystery fiction read. Lee Child is the absolute “King of the Cliffhanger.” Every chapter left me on the edge of my seat. I kept having to tell myself to put the book down and go to sleep (but I really wanted to keep reading). “61 Hours” is the 14th installment in the “Jack Reacher Mystery Series”, but I hadn’t read any other books in the series and I was perfectly able to follow. Child gives just enough background info to introduce new readers to “Jack Reacher” but not enough to be too repetitive for devoted series readers.
For those of you who enjoy audiobooks, this week we bring you 5 books that the staff is currently listening to. The Syosset Public Library offers books to listen to in three formats: CD, Playaway, and downloadable.
Jackie Ranaldo, Readers’ Services Librarian, is listening to “The Whisperers“ by John Connelly, read by Holter Graham.
“The latest Charlie Parker thriller takes us to the border between Maine and Canada. It is there, in the vast and porous Great North Woods, that a dangerous smuggling operation is taking place, run by a group of disenchanted former soldiers, newly returned from Iraq. Illicit goods – drugs, cash, weapons, even people – are changing hands. And something else has changed hands. Something ancient and powerful and evil.” (from the Publisher)
“The inspiring true story of Louis Zamperini, who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. During a routine search mission over the Pacific during World War II, Louie’s plane crashed into the ocean, and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued… eagerly awaiting the next turn in the story and fearing it at the same time.” (Amazon.com)
Evelyn Hershkowitz, Librarian Trainee, is listening to “Thirteen Reasons Why“ by Jay Asher, read by Debra Wiseman.
“When Clay Jenson plays the casette tapes he received in a mysterious package, he’s surprised to hear the voice of dead classmate Hannah Baker. He’s one of 13 people who receive Hannah’s story, which details the circumstances that led to her suicide. Clay spends the rest of the day and long into the night listening to Hannah’s voice and going to the locations she wants him to visit.” (Booklist)
Nadine Kessler, Children Services Librarian, is listening to “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” by Beth Hoffman, read by Jenna Lamia.
“For years, 12-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. But when Camille is hit by a truck and killed, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt from Savannah, Tootie Caldwell, who whirls CeeCee into her world.” (from the Publisher)
“While Precious Ramotswe travels to a game reserve to investigate the death of an American tourist, trouble brews back home. Mma Makutsi launches the Complaint Half Hour, providing herself a forum for her grievances. And Precious’ dependable husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni suddenly decides to mortgage his auto repair shop.” (from the Publisher)
First of all, do you “read” audiobooks? Or do you “listen” tothem? Does one get the same experience from the printed version of a book as from the audio version? This can lead to some heated discussions: some people absolutely will not hear of someone saying , “ I just finished reading Kite Runner on CD”, believing that if you have not read a book in its printed form you have not really read it. The audiobook experience could not possibly be as intellectually rewarding. The thing to say to these individuals is “I just finished listening to Kite Runner on CD”. People who do “read” audiobooks, insist that they are “just as good”.
Before I started using audiobooks, I, too,felt that listening to the audio version of a book couldn’t possibly be the same as reading it in print. And do you know what ? I still do. But that does not mean that one experience is worthier than the other, but the two are definitely different. I’ll save my thoughts about the differences for a later post. Until then, what do you think? Let us know by making a comment.
(If you’re interested, the Syosset Public Library has The Kite Runner in both print and audio.)